Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows non-citizens to vote Nation World News

Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows non-citizens to vote  AP News

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 800,000 noncitizens and so-called “dreamers” in New York City will have access to the ballot box — and can vote in municipal elections early next year — according to legislation approved by Mayor Eric Adams. After the permission, the city council will automatically become a law on Sunday a month ago.

Opponents have vowed to challenge the new law. Until a judge overturns its implementation, New York City is now the most populous city in the United States giving non-citizens the right to vote.

More than a dozen communities across the US already allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, including 11 cities in Maryland and two in Vermont.

The Board of Elections should now begin drawing up an implementation plan by July, including voter registration rules and provisions that would prevent non-citizens from casting ballots in federal and state competitions to create separate ballots for municipal races. .

It’s a pivotal moment for a city where legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age residents. After several setbacks, the movement to win the right to vote for non-citizens prevailed.

The measure would allow non-citizens who have been lawful permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as those authorized to work in the US, including so-called “dreamers”, to visit the city’s mayor. To help in selecting the members of the City Council. City presidents, controllers and public advocates.

“Dreamers” are young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children who benefit from the DREAM Act or DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – which allows them to stay in the country if they meet certain criteria. allows.

The first elections in which non-citizens will be allowed to vote will not take place until 2023.

“We build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants,” said former city council member Yadanis Rodriguez, who led the charge to get approval for the law.

Rodriguez, whom Adams appointed as his transportation commissioner, thanked the mayor for his support and looked forward to defending vigorously against any legal challenges.

Noncitizens still would not be able to vote for the president or members of Congress in federal races, or in state elections that choose governors, judges, and legislators.

Adams recently cast uncertainty over the law when he raised concerns about the month-long residency standard, but later said those concerns did not mean he would veto the bill.

While there was some question whether Adams could stop the bill from becoming law, the 30-day deadline for the mayor to act expired at midnight.

Adams said he looked forward to legislation that would bring millions more people into the democratic process.

“I believe that New Yorkers should have their say in their government, which is why I support this important legislation and continue to do so,” Adams said in a statement released Saturday night. He said his earlier concerns were eased after productive conversations with co-workers.

Former mayor Bill de Blasio had similar concerns but did not move to veto the measure before City Hall was vacated at the end of the year.

Legal challenge is likely. Opponents say that the council itself does not have the authority to give voting rights to non-citizens and should have demanded action by state lawmakers earlier.

Some states, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado and Florida, have adopted rules that would block any attempt to pass laws, like New York City.